Jul 26, 2012

Guns Don't Kill People! Then Why Shouldn't We Allow ALL and ANY Weapons?

Update, 7/30/12

The Second Amendment Has Been Turned Into a Sick & Deadly Joke. Who Are the Enablers of Death?

Those who don't like gun control now--after the theater massacre in CO--say "let's not politicize it". I say, we shouldn't if no aspects of this outcome are related to political decisions. Of course, we all know that the prevalence of gun violence in our society isn't because of our culture but also because of laws which are the result of political considerations, lobbying, and leadership.

Short on something?
Speaking of leadership, the president failed to lead, again, on this issue. He may lead, from the rear, in the near future if the country moves ahead on this issue and demands sensible gun controls. This issue is like so many others--oh, "controversial"--so Obama is cautious. Like he was with the Don't Ask Don't Tell, same sex marriage, taxes, etc. First the country moved, then this president followed instead of providing leadership.

Even most NRA members agree that sensible gun laws, better and more complete ones we have now, are needed! So, when will this president and Congressional leaders take on this issue? Why isn't there a federal law prohibiting assault weapons, certain ammo, and requiring background checks and waiting periods? 

Not turn-the-other-cheek fellow.
One of the stupidest arguments is that "the Gov will take away our freedom if it takes away, or knows about, our guns!" Oh, really? IF it comes to that, it will be too late indeed; the GOV always has more and bigger guns. We would have lost our fundamental freedoms well before that. And, we'd lose those freedoms by being idiotic, apathetic, and having a bumper-sticker mentality!

Modern societies have progressed from the days when justice and protection was up to each person--if they could afford it. Disputes are better solved without violence and if there's violence deadly weapons aren't used. We tried the method of everybody carrying a gun to defend themselves and we, at least most of the advanced societies, decided to change that. 

Sure, it's possible that the Colorado incident might have turned out differently had most of the theater audience packed guns. How different, I'm not sure. On campus where I work we've talked about the V Tech student massacre few years ago--when one person walked on campus and killed 30+ people. Maybe that would have happened if faculty, staff, and students had been carrying guns. However, what would happen every other day?! And, what would the atmosphere be when everybody knows a dispute can escalate into bullets flying everywhere?!

The Notion of Freedom 

I will not tire repeating that freedom is not just the absence of restraint! Yet, this is how most Americans define it, but this is rather inadequate nowadays. Obstacles to freedom include poverty, illiteracy, prejudice, tyranny of the majority, disease, lack of opportunity, etc.  

From my perspective, having the freedom to carry a gun and use it for protection is not as important as having health care, education, and be in an environment that allows me to reach my potential.  I cannot understand why having limits on the types of weapons I can buy, the types & amount of ammunition I can obtain, or restrictions on how and where to use certain weapons is limiting my true freedom. 

If guns don't kill people, then why have any limits? How about licensing nukes, armed fighter planes, and dirty bombs? Don't we need such weaponry for hunting or target practice? Obviously no one needs this weapons or huge ammo clips that attach to machine guns. If then it's about the effects οf weapons, then reasonable restrictions are necessary.

Necessary gun control plus some common sense enhance everyone's freedom and the quality of life.

Update, 7/27

The NYT has an editorial today reflecting many of the points here. Both candidates for president, but especially the sitting president failed to take this opportunity to lead and push for sensible gun laws.  On the other hand,  NYC mayor Bloomberg has been right on this issue all along. 

Maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.”Mayor M. Bloomberg

As much as Obama has been lukewarm on many important issues, GOP flag bearer Mittens Romney is ridiculous. When he was one-term Gov of MA, he advocated all sorts of good things--health care, gun control, same-sex unions, abortion rights, etc. Of course by vying for the leadership of a lunatic party he changed his tune completely. 

And, this is my argument with people who say voting for Romney will not make much of a difference and that maybe he'll be more effective than the siting president. This is wrong on so many counts. Romney will have to govern with this Republican party, with its extreme policies and backward party line. He has flipped-flopped from his centrist positions and he'll most likely won't go back to them if elected. Plus, he'll be running for reelection which will make it even harder to adopt centrist policies.

On the other hand, Obama might be freer to pursue sensible policies (more) boldly after November thinking of his legacy and not of reelection in 2016.

No comments: